By Bryce J. Renninger | feelingsoblahg.blogspot.com May 31, 2011 at 6:38AM
As we welcome the summer, we also welcome one of the year's most exciting months for film festivals. From summer destination festivals like Provincetown and Nantucket to some of the year's biggest documentary fests to a slew in Brooklyn, indieWIRE presents our one-stop guide to all the top fests June has to offer.
The Pacific Northwest's mega festival lasts three-and-a-half weeks and takes up almost a half of the festival-packed June. The festival will end June 12 with Kevin MacDonald's YouTube compilation of "Life in a Day."
Dances with Films -- Los Angeles, CA -- June 2-9 [link]
Teaming up with Hollywood's industry organizations (CAA, SAG Indie, etc.), this LA fest brings barely seen films that don't rely on celebrity to sell tickets.
Transilvania International Film Festival -- Cluj-Napoca, Romania -- June 3-12 [link]
This year's Transilvanian fest is hosting a premier non-film event, Neal Labute's new play "Autobahn," and film master classes with the editor of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," one with the producer of Kiarostami's "Certified Copy," and one on stereoscopic filmmaking, to celebrate the fest's first 3D screening, Wim Wenders's "Pina."
Lighthouse International Film Festival -- Long Beach Island, NJ -- June 3-5 [link]
The New Jersey by-the-beach festival opens with George Ratliff's "Salvation Boulevard" and closes with the new film from Michael Winterbottom, "The Trip." There's also screenings of festival favorites like Sundance genre flick "The Troll Hunter," Sundance drama alum "Gun Hill Road" and Cleveland winner "Dying to do Letterman," along with good parties.
Brooklyn International Film Festival -- Brooklyn, NY -- June 3-12 [link]
Spanning theaters in north and south Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Film Festival is the most expansive of the borough's festivals. The festival will serve as the home turf debut of Hot Docs' "Battle for Brooklyn," which chronicles the borough's controversial Atlantic Yards development project.
The team behind the Sheffield Doc/Fest and its vital MeetMarket (for pitching projects to various producers, distributors, funders and more) pushed this year's event five months earlier than previous years. All signs point to them pulling off another stellar edition.
Aruba International Film Festival -- Aruba -- June 10-16 [link]
Now in its second year, the Aruba International Film Festival's guests include Kim Cattrall, Jonathan Demme, and Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent).
Following a shake-up at the top, the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival will open with John Michael McDonagh's "The Guard," starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle. The fest will also screen sidebars curated by luminaries like Gus Van Sant, Alan Warner, Béla Tarr, Jim Jarmusch and partner Sara Driver, Sophie Fiennes and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Los Angeles Greek Film Festival -- Los Angeles, CA -- June 9-12 [link]
Greek cinema finds a place in L.A. with the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. The four day fest runs from June 9-12 and offers 10 Hellenic short films and 11 features. "Burning Heads" from director George Siougas will serve as the festival's closing night film.
Shanghai International Film Festival -- Shanghai, China -- June 11-19 [link]
Mainland China's most significant film festival features a market for international films and this year will include a jury with "Rain Man" Barry Levinson at the head. The festival will also run retrospectives of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Bille August and Zheng Junli.
Provincetown International Film Festival -- Provincetown, MA -- June 15-19 [link]
The New England festival is honoring a trio of big names at this year's edition, including "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky, actress and Sundance alum Vera Farmiga and celebrated documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. A number of the trio's films will screen in special retrospective screenings. The festival offers a large and diverse programming slate, including a Portuguese cinema spotlight.
BAMcinemaFEST -- Brooklyn, New York -- June 16-26 [link]
BAMcinemaFEST opens with a screening of Andrew Haigh's SXSW award-winning "Weekend." New York City premieres and festival scene highlights abound for NYC audiences.
Northside Film Festival -- Brooklyn, New York -- June 16-19 [link]
The L Magazine kicks off its second edition of the Northside Film Festival with films curated by a variety of film organizations and publications including IFC, Rooftop Films, Animation Block Party, Independent Filmmaker Project, NewFest, BAM, FilmBuff and -- full disclosure! -- indieWIRE.
The world's oldest LGBT film festival turns 35 this year. With its landmark movie palace, the Castro, in the gayborhood of the same name, Frameline is one of the world's premier places to check out queer films.
Guest curated by Guillermo del Toro, this year's Los Angeles Film Festival will screen a special sneak peek of "The Green Lantern," and will also feature conversations with James Franco and Julie Taymor. Held in LA's up-and-coming downtown, the festival features all the Hollywood stars their indie slate has to offer as well as programs en español.
Held in the hometown of the Discovery Channel, the 2011 Silverdocs will play its usual lineup of documentary hits and will honor doc legends Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker ("Monterey Pop," "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders form Mars," "War Room," "Kings of Pastry")
Nantucket Film Festival -- Nantucket, Massachusetts -- June 22-26 [link]
Opening with a counterprogrammed night of cinema (Pixar's "Cars 2" and horse whisperer doc "Buck") and ending with Vera Farmiga's directorial debut "Higher Ground," the island destination festival will be honoring Farmiga, Paul Haggis ("Million Dollar Baby," "Crash") and Ben Queen ("Cars 2"). The fest will also welcome back Ben Stiller to present a comedy roundtable (featuring Seth Meyers and Aziz Ansari) and will feature stage actress (and Stiller family matriarch) Anne Meara and Mike O'Malley ("Glee") hosting Late Night Storytelling.